The washout on day three should influence the Proteas’ approach as they look to take control on day four.
The Proteas were 142 runs ahead with eight second-innings wickets in hand at stumps on day two. They went into day three believing that they would have more than enough time to build on that lead and set India a target in excess of 350.
The weather in Cape Town, however, may have forced a change in mindset. A full day’s play was lost on Sunday due to the relentless rain in Newlands.
As a result, South Africa will need to be mindful of the amount of time left in this game. There is some cloud cover at the ground this morning, but no rain is forecast for days four and five. And yet, the Proteas would do well to score their runs relatively quickly over the next two sessions, declare, and then bowl at the India top order later this evening.
South Africa, of course, will be a bowler light in the fourth innings. Dale Steyn sustained a freak heel injury while bowling on day two, and has been ruled out for the rest of the match. As a result, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada, and Keshav Maharaj will have to get the job done with the ball later in the game.
The game appeared destined for a result at the end of day two. Given the lengthy rain interruption, there is now a chance that India will force a draw.
The tourists need to strike early in the first session to strengthen their chances in this contest, though. Rabada, who was sent in as the nightwatchman late on day two, will be at the crease with Hashim Amla.
India should be looking to remove those two batsmen and possibly AB de Villiers before lunch. That would constitute a great start for the tourists, and put the pressure back on to South Africa.
Due to the loss of time on day three, 98 overs will be bowled on day four and play can continue to 18:30 if necessary.
SA 286 (1st innings) – AB de Villiers 65, Faf du Plessis 62, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-87, Ravi Ashwin 2-21
India 209 (1st innings) – Hardik Pandya 93, Cheteshwar Pujara 26, Vernon Philander 3-33, Kagiso Rabada 3-34
SA 65-2 (2nd innings) – Aiden Markram 34, Dean Elgar 25, Hardik Pandya 2-17
South Africa lead by 142 runs
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